10 Things NOT to Say to Someone with Eczema
Sometimes, only fellow-eczema sufferers fully understand what you are going through on a day-to-day basis. As a disclaimer, if someone says something offensive to you regarding your eczema, try not to get mad or upset right away but use it as an opportunity to educate them and help them better understand this disease that affects as much as 10% of the population.
Here are our top 10 worst things to say to someone with eczema (or the top things we are tired of hearing).
#1: “I’m sure it will just go away on its own”
This one seems innocent at first but can be frustrating since it’s certainly one of the most common. The problem with this statement is that eczema is a chronic disease that doesn’t simply go away. Although people can learn to manage it over time (to the point where it doesn’t disrupt their lives any longer), it’s not like a bug bite that goes away on its own.
#2: “Just stop itching it”
We wish it were that simple. Yes, it’s true that itching can exacerbate the rash but most eczema-sufferers fully understand this already. Secondly, someone without eczema doesn’t know what it’s like to live with a constant itchy feeling.
#3: “Maybe try to improve your diet”
This one is frustrating because it assumes that it’s your fault and your diet choices that lead to eczema. Actually, has not been defined as a major cause for getting eczema in the first place. Most people with eczema can enjoy the same food as those without it. Lastly, eczema triggers are different from person-to-person and longtime sufferers already understand how to learn what diet best suits them.
#4: “Is it contagious?”
No, eczema is not contagious.
#5: “My friend has eczema and ____ worked for them”
This isn’t too egregious of a statement but can still be a bit irritating. Chances are, almost everyone knows someone else who has eczema. Secondly, the statement may have not carried any ill-intentions. It’s annoying because there are so many different types of eczema (6 main types) so something that works for one person might not work for another. In short, it’s just not that simple most of the time.
#6: “Maybe you’re too stressed out and need to relax more”
They are onto something with this statement because it’s true that stress is a trigger for eczema flare-ups. However, there is a wide variety of potential triggers. Sometimes statements like these can be aggravating to those with eczema which may make their stress worse.
#7: “Maybe you should use more moisturizer”
As if people with eczema don’t know how to use moisturizer!
#8: “Why is your ___ so red?”
Although it’s not necessarily an ignorant statement, it simply gets tiring having to address this question over and over again.
#9: “Drink more water”
Yes, it’s true that drinking water helps to keep the skin hydrated and it’s great for your overall health, but it’s not like drinking water is going to magically make your eczema go away.
#10: “You should wear more sunscreen”
Similarly to the line about moisturizing, taking proper care of your skin just goes without saying for those that have eczema. But wearing sunscreen is also literally necessary for EVERYONE, not just for people with eczema.
So those are our top 10 things NOT to say to people with eczema. Again, if someone says one of these lines to you, try to be understanding since the awareness of eczema simply isn’t there yet.
I’ve recently been diagnosed with excema however, in retrospect, I’ve been dealing with it for years . My question is: can excema be internal as well? For years I’ve had itching on my back in places and in areas on my chest. I need to know if there is an oral medication as well as the external treatment.
Hello… from Saskatchewan. I have a daughter whose 21 years old… in dire need of help for eczema itch… she had this condition for all her life. Plus I have a grand daughter whose 8 months old… she has flare ups and bad itch… do you have any specific creams for these two people???? In need of help… nothing works over the counter and what ever doctor prescribes no good… HELP. Hope to hear from you.